The Apprentice 11 – Week 5 : Children’s Book

The adventures of Beeface and Dickiphant or whatever they were called…

Phone Answering Wars Let’s get right to it

Charleine claimed the fourth point in this year’s grand Telephonic Face-Off, making the scores so far :

Natalie : 2
Joseph : 1
Charleine : 1

I do hope that, with Selina now fully comitted to being MISS NICE GIRL no longer (her first words of the episode, barking at Gary and Scott, two of the most affable men in the cast, that she was going to STOP BEING DIPLOMATIC WITH THEM AND TELL THEM IF THEY WERE BEING INAPPROPRIATE), Charleine has seized this opportunity to start dressing in the most angelic manner possible, so as best to theme their feud in a way that’s advantageous to her. I wonder if there’s possibly a task coming up that will allow her to say “as a mother” over and over and over again as well… If there were, there were no clues initially in the meeting place given by The Disembodied Voice – St James’ Square, home to the East India Club, the Executive Offices Group, and the In And Out Naval & Military Club. So good news for Sam already there. With Ruth gone, Charleine obviously felt the mantle fall upon her of having to make sure everyone was alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic as she charged screaming her head off into the girls bedroom finding

Natalie in a Free The Weatherfield One T-Shirt and Elle

wearing about 9 layers and I’m not sure how many of them are even clothing at this point, muttering to herself that this all just isn’t worth it. 4 losses in a row is when it really must start to burn right? Poor The Sugababes. Meanwhile in the boys room she found


good news for people who like men of a certain body shape.

The Library Is Open : In the end, the St James’ Square Landmark being visited was The London Library. Lordalan decided to tell all the candidates, as a little extra colour, that this was the place used by literary luminaries like Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, and Ruddy ‘Ard Kipling (I’ve never heard of him, I presume he’s one of those gangsta-lit chaps) to research their novels. And it would also play host to the launch of a new magnum opus or two, as this week’s task was to write a picture book for 3 – 5 year olds. The show “dumbing up” a little bit this week there. Teams were to write, illustrate and record an Audio CD for a new picture book, and then all that would be irrelevant as the task would be decided on who could best flog a pig in a poke to small local retailers on the grounds “say this was on The Apprentice and you can charge £20 for it”. Oh and to balance the teams up

Sam was made a Sugababe, making him the Amelle Berrabah of the outfit. Lordalan accompanied this transfer by telling the rest of the Sugababes that Sam would be an asset for them (him being the only person on the show who can read) and also telling Sam that he better volunteer to be PM or he’d get fired like that hipster giraffe twat from last series. So that was that settled then. Sadly his first edict as PM was not to command Selina to wear

these giant mouse ears for the entire task. Meanwhile, over on Team Powerbottom, Charleine was elected PM because “I’VE GOT KIDS!”. Her pitch included the phrase “party pooper wee wee”.

Samuel Curry : BA, MA, DPhil, PM – A small collection of quotations from Sam as PM on this task, to write a picture for 3 year olds, then sell it in London tat shops.

“I love language. I think language and communication is key to existence”
“There is this theory by Aristotle that plot is the most important but I don’t know how much you can relate a tragedian to children’s literature” (/picture book for 3 year olds)
“What I want to do is a moral story that includes monsters orrrrrrr an “overcoming the monster” story that includes a bit of a moral” (contrast this with Joseph on Team Powerbottom basically going “I LIKE BEES, BEES GO BUZZ! BEES DO THE HONEY GO WOOSH WOOSH!” and this then being the entire book)
“It’s important to be educated morally and also in a literal sense, and also to HAVE FUN!”
“The story’s to do with a mythical creature surrounded by other mythical creatures and this creature’s…different for some reason and it goes through the moral process of learning about acceptance” (Subtext : GAYYYYYYYY!)
“The moral is about acceptance! So a child who is good at chess but isn’t good at rugby should not be ousted from school!” (Subtext : GAYER!)
“What about Snufflegruffle? Can we have Snifflebum? Snifflebottom?” (Subtext : GAYEST!)
“Snottydink! It’s a mythical creature that’s dragonlike, with maybe some elephant like properties!”
“WHAT IF HE STUMBLES ACROSS A PAIR OF RUFFLEBOTTOM SHOES??!?!?”
“WHY IS THIS VERSE ONLY TWO LINES LONG, ELLE? WHY? IT’S THE ONLY ONE IN THE WHOLE BOOK THAT’S TWO LINES LONG!!!”
“I’M GOING HOME NOW, I’M DONE! HEART ATTACK!”
“HAVE WE FINISHED EVERY PAGE? ELLE YOU ARE A GENUINE PRINCESS!”
“IT’S LIKE GIVING BIRTH TO A CHILD AND SOMEONE OFFERING YOU £2 FOR IT! What a heartless mother I am…”
“I wouldn’t say I’m indecisive, I just take a long time to reach a decision”

Seriously, Elle and Sam are one of my favourite Apprentice creative partnerships ever, in that she spent the entire process mute, in a tiara, actually writing the book, whilst Sam flapped around aimlessly extemporising. It was like Barbara Cartland and her long suffering secretary reborn and genderswapped and…some other things swapped as well probably. They even published the book under a combined nom-de-plume : Ellie Curry. Hey, maybe they’ll get married! (LOL) (Team Powerbottom’s book meanwhile was published under “Mira Valentino” which really is up there in the pantheon of crap drag queen names)

Charleine In Power Whilst Sam’s initial (and subsequent, and entire) input as PM was tormented pre-Raphaelite billoughing over the artistic process and how best to improve young minds, Charleine’s first mission as the boss was more laser-focused

“How do I best fuck Richard over, the nobhead?”. Having already potentially hacked April off with the following exchange :

April : I think I’m going to have to select Joseph’s idea over yours Charleine.
Charleine : Erm, what writing skills have you got?
April : My degree’s in creative writing?


Charleine decided to put in place her mismanagerial masterplan like so :

A) Note – Richard is only productive and co-operative if he feels like he’s in a position of power (if you ignore how he was both productive and co-operative on the Fish task despite just being Selina’s minion)
B) Make Richard leader of the R & D Subteam, so he feels like he’s in charge of something
C) Place my mole David on the subteam as a subordinate, so that every time I call them up, I can just ask to speak to him, so he can be the real subteam leader, and Richard will never notice!!! I’M TOTALLY UNDERMINING HIM, WHILST STILL GETTING THE BEST OUT OF HIM, AND HE’LL NEVER KNOW!
D) TEE HEE HEE
E) Profit
F) Oh yeah, Mergim can go too

I think Charleine maybe thought this plan was more subtle than it was. Richard of course twigged from the off and spent the whole morning huffing to David and Mergim, who spent more time

looking out the window than Ross & Rachel did in the first Season of Friends, that he’s used to being on the IMPORTANT TEAM and this was clearly the TEAM THAT IS NOT THE IMPORTANT TEAM. To be fair, he was right, as this was a classic case of the show badly wanting there to be two teams more than they needed to be, as the subteam’s most notable venture was to a

frankly inappropriately named nursery to learn that sometimes kids books rhyme, and whatever the Sugababes did for Day 1 “Research” didn’t even make the show. Amazingly though, at some point, a miracle happened. Somewhere around the recording of the theme tune for the book’s audio CD (vital work I’m sure you’ll agree)

Dicky’s Subteam bonded. And laughed. And grew closter. Partially over just how obvious and ham-fisted Charleine’s scheming was, and also partially over being three grown men locked in a sub-basement bouncing up and down yelling “BUSY BUZZY BOZZY BUZZY BIZZY BUZZY BEES”. What this means going forwards I have no idea. Will it mean I have to start liking David? Hopefully not. (A lot of the process of recording the Powerbottom book was focused on everyone mocking Gary’s accent, so I’m not including it, in the name of MIDLANDS PRIDE)

BBC Reality TV Villains Through The Ages

Number 17 – the overambitious Fame Academy contestant who thinks she’s the second coming of Billie Holliday but who sounds more like Lisa Stansfield with a hornet up her nose.

Snottydink vs Bizzy Bee So whose finished article was the best?


Having perused the evidence, and watched Kaen and Claude read out the books (and seriously, it’s a joy watching Claude manage to misread a book aimed at 3 year olds), it’s obvious that Snottydink, despite Sam’s pretensions running riot via use of the phrase “moisture rife” and the word “quell”, is the superior product. Bizzy Bee is about 7 words a page, usually the same words, that never ever ever scan, or rhyme, and as you can see above, it’s about as visually interesting as being poked in the eye by Microsoft Paint. Snottydink may have been overthought, monstrously ambitious, overwritten and been one letter away from being called Snottydick, but you could feel the love in every page.

Of course none of this had anything to do with who won the task, which was based on raw sales, which were in turn not at all based on the books’ respective quality, but still. Nice use of a day wasn’t it?

David’s Excited Faces Get So Out Of Control I Worry They Might Start Claiming Lives

What kind of Cesar Romero’s Joker realness?

Look Who’s Pitching Now? : As usual, the selling was stratified into two different tiers. Firstly small independent retailers who the contestants sourced themselves, and secondly two major retailers who had been sat on by Lordalan. And these major retailers needed someone to pitch to them. In Charleine’s case, as she continued to accrue new Best Friends at a rate of knots, she decided that that should be Charleine (accompanied by David and Joseph). Dicky pleaded that he’d won the marketing pitch for the biggest fast food retailer at the Olympics (DickyDonalds <3), and Vana pointed out that she’s a charismatic speaker and that Charleine herself gets flustered under pressure and starts gabbling nonsensically, but Charleine was having none of it, damnit, and wanted the opportunity to prove herself (possibly as a mother). She admitted that “English isn’t my strong point” (hardly making her stand out on this show) but vowed to plough on anyway to prove she could operate outside of her twin comfort zones of classy dye-jobs and shooting people in the face.




Quite.

Thankfully, under the incredibly benevolent eye of Sam, the process over on The Sugababes would be much easier right? Especially as it turned out that Natalie had had prior contact with one of the major clients as part of her day job outside of this show? What a great opportunity for her to redeem herself after Desert Secrets from the deserted desert of secret desert secrets from the desert which were secrets! Unfortunately, from Natalie’s face it was obvious that this “prior contact” was of the

“nicked their boyfriend” variety, and she promptly came down with a case of

Convenient Flu. Now Convenient Flu is a terrible thing to have, because it’s a real Catch 22 of a disease. The symptoms of Convenient Flu (cough, wheezing, more coughing) only manifest themselves whilst you’re telling people you have Convenient Flu. Otherwise you seem perfectly fine. But if you DON’T tell people you have Convenient Flu, they might put you in an important position without even realising your incapacity. It’s an awful bind. Fortunately Sam was understanding and put her on the “trade” subteam with Brett and Scott, whilst he himself put himself in the pitching hot-seat. Odd, I always had Sam down as “trade” myself, I’m sure you’ll agree.

More Mathmagics with Selina Waterman-Smith! : Having run scuttling away to fetch Scott as soon as the numbers got heavy last week, Selina excelled herself again this week. Left in charge of sealing the deal after Sam did a decent pitch to Foyles, Selina lept right from offering them 150 units at £4.20 each to offering 50 units at £3.50 each. Now obviously there’s the automatic fail of Selina not quite knowing how bulk ordering works (hint : the more the clients buys, the lower the price should go) but things got even better back in the car as Sam reprimanded her (y’know, ish, it’s still Sam)

Sam : Selina, why didn’t you offer 100 units, I think they would have bought 100

Selina : I couldn’t be bothered to do the sums tbh

What a legend. Possibly single-handedly losing the task because she couldn’t be arsed to whip a pocket calculator out (and then hand it to Gary). Still, between them, over their two big pitches they managed to sell 65 copies of their book, compared to the 25 sales secured by Charleine blinking and stuttering about her book teaching kids about their enthusiasm, encouragement and passion to get to their end goal, which only affirms to me that Snottydink was the real winner here.

Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week : Is

Peter The Bookseller, working in a rare bookshop in Charing Cross, down an alley somewhere, dealing in first editions and oddities at £25,000 a pop. He very nicely dismissed a reasonably charming Elle, on the grounds that whilst this book may be rare and an oddity it was “at the different end of the scale” than his clients would be willing to buy. Yes I’m not seeing much space for Snottydink amongst the Faulkners and the Tolkeins and the Twains. Lord knows why Sam dragged them here, maybe this guy is a personal friend, let’s just dwell on that thought for a second, maybe write some fiction of our own about it. Certainly he presented a more friendly face of the Independent Book Shop scene than this lady

who sneered to Natalie that she didn’t see Snottydink as “for Hackney”. Poor Snottydink. First rejected by his peers and now this! (You could argue that Natalie pushed the woman to this point by being her usual slightly grunty and underprepared self but still…SNOTTYDINK!)

RESULTS TIME! Most of the pre-boardroom focused, as you might expect, on the less relevant part of the task – the creative side – with Sam being mocked for bothering to put any thought into his book beyond “A BEE DOES SOMETHING, GETS THE HONEY INNIT”. Kaen in particular took the rise and told Sam that it was like watching someone try to create the sequel to King Lear. I think King Lear is pretty final to be honest Kaen. Sam put in a spirited defence for not dumbing down books for kids, to which Lordalan responded by grunting “WHAT DID YOU READ AGED 5? WAR AND PEACE?!”. Sam strikes me as more of a Dostoyevsky man myself. (Oh and Natalie made sure to cough three or four times throughout, just so everyone knows she’s not well, it’s vital that they know!)

Meanwhile the preamble for Team Powerbottom mostly focused on Charleine bragging about her amazing scheme to mess with Richard’s head to make him work better (/piss him off for shits and giggles). Unfortunately for Charleine, Lordalan didn’t seem particularly impressed and the unintendded fruits of her plan came to light, as first Mergim took up on Richard’s behalf, talking about how amazing it was to work under him

and then Richard took up on his, highlighting to Lordalan a particularly blaggy sale Mergim made of 3 copies of the book at one of this week’s many Pointless Focus Groups. Ultimately no odds in the grand scheme of things, but still sweet. You know, by this show’s standards.

NUMBERS TIME!

Team Powerbottom sold £690 worth of book
The Sugababes sold £587 worth of book

THE POWERBOTTOMS WIN AGAIN!

Turns out that Charleine did a Claire Young Special and made a massive last minute 125 book fluke sale right before the deadline. DAMN YOU RAINFOREST CAFE! I’LL NEVER DARKEN YOUR DOORS…well not AGAIN but…erm…EVER.

The Buddies In The Library This week’s reward took place in a library (Mergim : Oh nooooooo) and involved some close-up magic with…I don’t know, some guy, he’s probably got a show on ITV6 or something. Obviously the magic was borin’, but the whole segment did feature one of my favourite edits in Apprentice history –

“Oh, I’m so happy to have won, me and Richard are totally fine, because we’re both so grateful just to have won the task and been on the winning side”

“**** Charleine right in the *****, the useless flukey ****ing *****er”.

Something like that anyway.

Loser Cafe : A very rainy Loser Cafe this week was marked mostly by Sam

looking pained and squinty and brooding and flapping everywhere whilst apologising profusely to everyone for letting them down. This in particular cut no ice with Scott

who as we know is very much all about cold hard sales facts. He criticised Sam for having no real sales strategy, but given that the actual sales part of the task that we saw was an afterthought to Selina doing the Snottydink Rap or whatever, it’s hard to come down on either side. The only person on the entire task who seemed to have any sort of sales strategy on either team was Brett, and I’m basing that off half a clip where he’s trying to get Natalie to stop eating her pen and pay attention.

Boardroom Follies : For such a dithery artiste, Sam’s Boardroom Strategy was very simple – Blame The Subteam. As far as Sam was concerned, Brett, Natalie and Scott had come back with unsold stock (whereas Sam and Selina together had offloaded their subteam’s entire stock for pocket change each), therefore it was their fault the Sugababes lost (again, some more, for the fifth time), because if they’d sold the books at even £1.20 or so, they would have won. The subteam themselves then subsequently split along predictable (and to be honest, accurate) lines, with both Brett and Scott blaming Natalie for repeatedly failed, biffed, muttered and frankly rude pitches and Natalie then lying through her teeth about how much information Brett had given her to help her with the finances of the sales process


and also pulled faces, obviously. It *is* Natalie. Despite Lordalan and Kaen’s best efforts to pin blame on (who else?) Selina for the Foyles Fail (Selina’s defence? “I’d just like to point out that I didn’t understand the pricing strategy”

EFFING MATHS AGAIN, WHY WON’T IT JUST GO AWAY? JUST STICK THE NOTES IN MY BRA AND WE’LL SORT IT OUT LATER BOYS) and slashing prices, and Sam’s own efforts to dither out the reveal of his final nominations to fill out the entire last 15 minutes of the programme, the theme stuck, and it was Natalie and Brett facing the chop.

From here, Brett’s barrage on Natalie turned into an absolute foul-mouthed assault (<3) as Brett unleashed both a “SHE HAD HER ASS IN HER HANDS!” and an “I SHIT YOU NOT” (I feel nothing more greatly or strongly at this point that Margaret was not here to witness “I SHIT YOU NOT!” being yelled in the Boardroom. Imagine her face!) over the fact that he ascribed her poor sales on the task to being intimidated by the overwhelming presence, intimidating business knowledge, and all-round sexy aroma of one Kaen Brady. Not that he’s sucking up you understand. Natalie then took this to the next level of tragic by rather sadly admitting that yes she was nervous that Kaen was watching her just because she wanted to prove herself so badly. Well that’s…I feel empathy for her but if we’re in Week 5 and Kaen is still giving you the jitters that much you might not be cut out for this programme. Brett for some reason then got a grilling over how he’s been subteam leader 3 times now and apparently this shows that nobody has faith in him (?) but it was always obvious that he was safe and we were looking at either a single firing of Natalie

which we got, or a double firing of her and Sam, which we didn’t get, because he gave a stirring George Washington speech about much heart and soul he poured out into his Snottydink, and Lordalan’s heart melted. Natalie meanwhile

bitched about Brett the whole way home.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch I can’t quite decide if

David as a grown 25 year old man in “Rock Star” pyjama bottoms makes me warm to him even more or not to be honest. There was little room for speculation as to who was getting fired this week (as you’d expect, everyone anticipated Brett’s return at least), as Charleine was forcing everyone into an impromptu toast to her

I do hope that that’s apple juice or white wine, and not, say, a mixture of Selina and Dicky’s urine.

Next Week :

RICHARD! Is that a paintbrush in your pocket o…oh wait, it is.


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17 thoughts on “The Apprentice 11 – Week 5 : Children’s Book

  1. Jonathan Broad

    “I think King Lear is pretty final to be honest Kaen”

    Perhaps Baroness Brady has only seen the Nahum Tate* adaptation, where all ends happily.

    *Who also gave us the lyrics to “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” and was Poet Laureate, which suggests a particular paucity of poets at the time…

    Reply
  2. BeyonceCastle

    Cannot vote on which was better without there being a third option of both sucking huge cocks.
    I have one of those 3-5 year olds and she has no taste whatsoever…she loves watching strange single women roleplaying with barbies on you tube, making endless crap out of playdo and extolling the virtues of further plastic crap. She will watch any old shite including fecking shopkins cartoons. Even she could not sit through Kaaen and Claude. Both books were complete and utter toss. Also, yes she may have PMd one task already but Adele not taking charge with a creative writing degree?
    Thanks for the recap Chris particularly Richard’s bits.

    Reply
  3. Karura

    If it had been me in the boardroom:
    “WHAT DID YOU READ AGED 5? WAR AND PEACE?!”.
    “Well actually, at age 6 I read Lord of the Rings.”
    “Yeah right, I don’t wanna hear it.”

    Then again, that fact alone probably makes me overqualified for The Apprentice.

    Reply
  4. Agrippina

    Can I just point out, probably to complete indifference, that Aristotle wasn’t a tragedian? That he didn’t actually write plays at all, in fact? The fact hat Sam just dropped that into his VT in an attempt to look much more intelligent than he is, and that nobody pulled him up on it, made me watch the rest of the episode in the sort of blue funk that could only be mustered up by a person with a classics degree that they have NEVER USED for any worthwhile purpose.

    Reply
  5. Matthew RC

    Do you think we’ll have a treble firing this season? It wouldn’t be surprising given this crop of candidates.

    Reply

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